Precision oncology company Guardant Health announced that its LUNAR-2 blood test has demonstrated its ability to precisely detect early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC) in a study.

Developed to screen average-risk patients for CRC, the blood test is said to provide enhanced sensitivity and specificity in detecting people with early-stage CRC.

Researchers assessed the LUNAR-2 test in a cohort of 699 patients with early-stage (stage 1, 2, or 3) CRC in the study.

An overall sensitivity of 96% in detecting CRC and specificity of 94% has been achieved by the test in the study, stated the company.

South Korea’s Samsung Medical Centre surgery professor and study investigator Dr Hee Cheol Kim said: “We know that the earlier CRC is detected, the better a person’s chances are of surviving it.

“The clinically meaningful sensitivity and specificity of the LUNAR-2 blood test in detecting CRC, most notably in people with early-stage disease, indicates that it could be a very useful tool in improving patient outcomes.”

The test delivered a 93% overall sensitivity in further analysis in patients with stage 1 and 2 CRC. It also enabled to detect 90% of patients with asymptomatic stage 1 or 2 CRC.

Guardant Health co-CEO AmirAli Talasaz said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, screening rates have dropped, wellness visits have declined, and postponements of non-emergency medical procedures have made it harder for people to complete life-saving CRC screening.

“The study results show that the LUNAR-2 test could provide both patients and physicians with an easy-to-use and highly accurate CRC screening alternative in the form of a blood test.”

Guardant Health has developed the LUNAR-2 blood test for the detection of early-stage cancer in screen-eligible asymptomatic adults from a simple blood draw.

At present, the ECLIPSE registrational study is assessing the performance of the LUNAR-2 blood test to detect early-stage CRC.

Claimed to be one of the largest cancer screening studies of its kind, the trial will recruit more than 10,000 patients by the end of this year.

In April this year, Guardant Health partnered with Daiichi Sankyo to develop Guardant360 CDx as a companion diagnostic for Enhertu in advanced metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).